IVF Protection Bill Called a ‘Temporary Fix’

(TargetDailyNews.com) – Some clinics that provide in vitro fertilization (IVF) services in Alabama have resumed offering their services, while others have not. After a state Supreme Court ruling in February that defined fertilized embryos created by IVF as human persons entitled to life, IVF clinics and doctors suspended the service for fear they would be held liable for destroying or culling any unwanted fertilized embryos.

On Wednesday, March 6th, Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed a law that intends to shield clinics, doctors, and patients from liability after the Supreme Court ruling. The law provides cover to those who provide the services, and also to companies that manufacture equipment used for IVF, as well as those who transport frozen embryos.

The new law is enough for some Alabama clinics to feel comfortable resuming service. The state has three IVF clinics, and two have re-opened. But the third, the clinic cited in the Supreme Court case recently, says the new law is not clear enough in its protections.

One woman affected by the Supreme Court opinion said she welcomed the new law, but that it was not a comprehensive solution. Gabbie Price significantly rearranged her life and career in order to have children through IVF, and she says the new law is a “Band-Aid.” IVF is very “time-sensitive,” she said, and while she’s glad there is a law that can help “families that can’t wait,” the issue needs to be more thoroughly dealt with in state law.

One state law professor agrees. Northeastern University School of Law assistant professor Katherine Kraschel said the new law does not completely address the recent Supreme Court ruling. It does not take away the high court’s decision that embryos must be treated “just like people,” she said.

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth concurs, saying the new state law “does not go far enough.” Duckworth has recently introduced a federal bill that would protect IVF services nationwide.

Neither Alabama Republicans nor Democrats seem completely satisfied with the new law. The state’s Democratic House Caucus called the bill “shortsighted” for not directly addressing the personhood status of IVF embryos. State Republican Senator Larry Stutts said the bill protects providers but does not give prospective mothers enough options or protections.

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